Know your beekeeper.
Years ago billionaire Warren Buffet gave some good advice - "if you don't know jewelry, know your jeweler." The same can be said for buying honeybees. If you don't know bees, know your beekeeper. There are a lot of confusing claims and scams in many areas, and beekeeping is no exception. Facebook is a great example. Be very careful sending money before knowing if they are legitimate. The internet is also full of "experts" who have been keeping bees for over a year. Wow. The old adage to "ask 10 beekeepers a question and get 12 conflicting answers" is never more true than today. There are many correct answers to beekeeping questions but the real experts will tell you all beekeeping is local. That's why you need to work with a local bee club, and local bee suppliers. Avoid too many you tube experts. Good internet youtube hosts include: Bob Binnie, David Burns, Michael Palmer, Frederick Dunn and Joe May. They do not accept free goods and promote those products in return, but they do have good advice based on real life experiences.
Purchasing bees locally is important. Check to see if the person selling bees is a full time beekeeper. How long have they been beekeeping? Are they available after the purchase to answer your questions?Was your package queen a drone layer and what will they do about it?
Where you buy the bees does make a difference. Just as you can't grow oranges in Montana, the origin of bees and their characteristics are very different. Some races of bees do great in Florida but won't survive in the north. Same for some colder climate races that don't do well in warmer climates. Some races of bees are better for beginners than others. Your local beekeeper can help you.